Posted on 3/15/2020 by Edward I Jutkowitz, DMD, PC
From early onset gingivitis to a more advanced progression of the periodontitis, gum disease can cause lasting damage to your oral health.
While gingivitis is completely curable with good brushing and flossing habits, late-stage periodontal disease can bring with it a list of complications, including a harmful condition called periodontal pockets.
Identifying and Treating Periodontal Pockets
If you've ever heard your dentist rattle off numbers while checking your teeth – “Two, three, two, four...” – then you're already vaguely familiar with periodontal pockets. Those numbers signify whether you have these pockets and, if you do, what their depth is. Measured in millimeters, anything under three is considered a normal depth. What do those larger numbers mean?
When your gums start to pry away from your tooth root, a pocket will begin to form. The deeper the pocket, the greater your risk for bacteria becoming trapped inside it, leading to infections, gum disease, and even periodontal abscesses.
If your periodontal pockets are greater than 4mm and your gums seem irritated, we may recommend a variety of treatment options to you.
An X-ray will be our first step, to get a better understanding of the extent of the damage. If the damage is minimal, we may start with a cleaning and send you home with a strict cleansing regimen. If the damage seems more extensive, we may move forward with a scaling and root planing. For the most severe cases (such as depths as great as 12mm), we may advise periodontal pocket reduction surgery to shrink the size of the pocket.
Advanced periodontitis is highly preventable. Taking care to brush your teeth twice per day, for two minutes per session, and following with flossing and antimicrobial mouthwash can reverse gingivitis. Once the disease progresses, however, you will need medical intervention from us.
If you are experiencing bleeding, tender gums, then please call our office right away to schedule an exam with a cleaning. We will check your mouth carefully and if we notice any signs of gum disease, we can start you on treatment for it right away.
70 Glen Cove Rd, Roslyn Heights, NY 11576 Phone: (516) 740-1848 ❘ Fax: 516-621-9409
133 East 58th St, Ste 803, Manhattan, NY 10022 Phone: (212) 355-3944 ❘ Fax: 646-735-1843